British Travel Agent Tui has announced its intention to close 166 of its stores in a shift to a more digital approach.
The tour operator currently has many locations in Ireland, including Waterford, Limerick and Kilkenny, with two sites in Cork and six in Dublin.
Speaking today, Tui managing director Andrew Flintham noted that 70% of Tui’s bookings are now made online, and that Covid-19 had only accelerated the trend.
Flintham said: “We want to be in the best position to provide excellent customer service, whether it’s in a high street store, over the telephone or online, and will continue to put the customer at the heart of what we do.
“It is therefore imperative that we make these difficult cost decisions, look after our colleagues during such unprecedented uncertainty and also offer a modern customer service.”
Lay-offs have not yet been confirmed, with Flintham saying that some employees will have the opportunity to work from home: “We hope many of them will become homeworkers and continue to offer the personalised service we know our customers value.”
Earlier this week, Tui announced that it was extending its suspension of flights to Spain, cancelling flights to Mallorca and Ibiza.